Posted in Book Reviews

6 Books to Help You Have a Better 2020

I skipped New Year’s Resolutions this year. I do that for some years. Resolutions fade within the first month or two of the year, and I’m left feeling like a failure. While failure leads to success, I decided that I’d be closer to success by working to be a better person, in general. Each lesson I learn this new year, I am taking to heart. And, each week, I check-in with my FB fam to let everyone know what positive things I’ve experienced and what lessons I’ve learned. I check-in in the hopes that my learning and growth will inspire others.

But, onto the “books” part of this blog. I love books. My husband and I have a library of almost 2000 books (and it’s always growing). While I don’t accept review requests anymore, I still do reviews for some publishers. I have a giant stack of books I need to catch up on this year, so I’m doing some round-up style reviews — Like this one.

Books can help you better your life, so why not read more in 2020? These six books are sure to teach you something, motivate you, and help you take better care of yourself!

5-minute Focus by Dr. Tiffany Shelton Mariolle

41GpJ0lTVDL._SX355_BO1,204,203,200_Having trouble focusing? Not sure how to stay on task when there are so many distractions around? This book by Dr. Mariolle is just what you need. 5-Minute Focus is filled with short exercises to help you focus on the things that need your attention.

My favorite things about this book are that the exercises are easy to do, the results can be seen immediately, and the book is laid out in a way that makes it simple to find the right technique for your needs.

Learn to understand the effects of anxiety on your ability to focus. Learn to actually take a break from work on your day off. It’s all in here.

Relationship Reconnected by David Simonsen

41qsf1qOniL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Ready to rebuild your relationship with your significant other? This book, Relationship Reconnected, will teach you how to communicate with each other better and how to understand one another.

Simonsen is a licensed family and marriage counselor. His career and educational background make him an excellent person to listen to when it comes to relationship advice.

So, what makes this a worthwhile book to check out? Well, I like that the book starts out looking at your relationship, as it is. It follows that with looking at your relationship as you’d like it to be. Once you’ve figured these things out, you’re on your way to chapters about learning to understand each other’s feelings, how to express how you feel, and so much more. I recommend reading this book with your S.O.

The Juicing Recipes Book from Mendocino Press

Ready to juice your way to a healthier you? First, watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Then, read (and use) The Juicing Recipes Book.

51KtQp4UOAL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_While this book has nothing to do with that documentary, it’s still full of excellent recipes to get you on the way to a healthier body (inside and outside). Many of the recipes can be used to make smoothies as well.

The recipes you’ll find within this book range from sweet fruit juices worthy of replacing your favorite sugary junk foods to green juices that will boost your energy and immunity. Enjoy juices meant to help you look and feel younger, and even find juices the kids will love.

#dietGoals (Journal)

The #dietGoals journal was created to help you on your weight loss journey. If you want 51hz-Pim6sL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_to drop some pounds in 2020, this is an excellent journal to help you get on the path to a healthier, leaner body.

I’ve, personally, found that keeping track of at least some of my wellness tactics (for lack of a better word). I forget to record things often, which is why I say “at least some.” If you forget to track a meal or a workout a couple of times a week, don’t let it discourage you from your path to better health. Just get back at the tracking when you remember or have time.

The #dietGoals book has space for you to track what you eat all day, what activities you did (because not all exercise needs to specifically be “exercise”), how much water you drank (which is important for internal health and even your skin health), and a space to talk about how the day had you feeling. The pages aren’t dated and don’t even include the days of the week — which means you don’t have to feel pressured, and you don’t have to feel guilty when you miss a day!

The Path To Positivity by Caitlin Margaret

41Nmv7LK2pL._SX350_BO1,204,203,200_I am the queen of positivity (I just made that up, but I am a life coach and spiritual counselor, and I offer positivity counseling). Even though I’ve studied the Power of Positive Thinking and the Law of Attraction, I still like to brush up on my positivity knowledge. The Path To Positivity is a great guide to help you get started on your more positive life.

Why should you pick up a copy of this book? Let me tell you…

This book will help you learn how to change the way you think. You’ll learn what positive living is not (it’s not avoiding reality or faking your feelings). To truly be positive, you need to accept that there will always be some negativity.

I love this book walks you through how positive thinking “positively” affects your brain, and how to make this new way of thinking part of your daily life.

50 Essential Etiquette Lessons by Katherine Flannery

51yHW5KeaaL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_The last book I want to share with you is one that might make you come off as a better person to all of the people you interact with each day. 50 Essential Etiquette Lessons is an interesting text. Broken up into categories, you can easily find the advice you need.

I like this book because it covers etiquette tips for at work, eating out, and even for online communication. It starts with some stellar tips on making an excellent first impression.

Want to be a better person? Each of these books has something to offer anyone who wants to make 2020 their year!

Posted in Book Reviews

My Life Surrounded By Paranormal Activity by Elida Y. Garcia-DeHaan

 

41GnMTLAtiL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Whether or not you believe in the paranormal, Elida has a story for you that just might convince you that demons and ghosts are real. The stories in this short little book, My Life Surrounded By Paranormal Activity, will open your mind.

The book begins with a background on Elida’s religious upbringing, or maybe experimentation. She doesn’t explain why she went to so many different denominations of churches, but I admire her interest in learning about religions outside of Christianity and being open-minded to something more.

The following chapters delve into a family curse, using the Ouija board incorrectly, hauntings, astral projection, and omens.

Parts of the story reminded me of my own paranormal experiences. Some of the author’s tales opened my mind up even more – and I thought I already knew all there was to know about paranormal experiences.

 

Posted in Book Reviews

The 5-Minute Mindfulness Journal by Noah Rasheta

 

71QpzXq101LMindfulness, meditation, yoga, exercise, and healthy eating are things I try to integrate into my life as often as possible. I found that this little journal is helping me with a couple of those things.

The 5-Minute Mindfulness Journal not only helps me be more mindful, but it has allowed me a chance to meditate on things that I may not have thought to focus on before.

This journal works to help you learn to slow down and put a focus on the now, on the things that you are doing when you’re doing them. It teaches us to listen to the voice in our head (our inner narrator), as well as when NOT to listen to the voices (negative self-talk).

Not only is this little journal all about YOU, and accepting yourself, but it is a lesson in being kind and accepting of others as well.

This journal has become one of my go-to “diaries” when I need some quiet time of reflection and thought. I highly recommend it.

I received this book for free from the publisher for this unbiased review.

 

Posted in Book Reviews

The Secret Joy of Hygge by Alexandra Amarotico

*Note to my readers – Thanks for allowing me the month of January off. It’s been a crazy year so far, but I am going to get back to catching up on this giant stack of books (although I cannot actually “stack” the ebooks). I hope you enjoy my reviews!

1200x630bbThe Secret Joy of Hygge is the story and anecdotes of one person experience Hygge for themselves. Alexandra Amarotico was a foreign exchange student who got the opportunity to spend some time living in Denmark in her teens. This book is the culmination of her experience with Hygge, explained in a way that will help readers find joy in this… way of life… too.

What I liked about the book – It has the basics. The glossary of terms at the beginning was my favorite part. Don’t worry if you have no idea how to pronounce Hygge properly, this book will teach you.

What I really thought – While this is a well-written book, I didn’t feel like I learned all that much from it. However, if you’re spending your life running around like a chicken with its head cut off, you could use this book. The reason it didn’t work for me is that I apparently already have plenty of Hygge in my life. Yes, there’s room for joyous improvement, but as someone that does what they love for a living, at home, in a happy relationship, who has learned how to dispose of the negative – this book just wasn’t something I’d need to read again.

5 stars for the beginner in the world of Hygge, 3 stars for the pro.

I received this book for free from the publisher for review purposes.

Posted in Book Reviews

Feel Better Fast And Make It Last by Daniel G. Amen, MD

978-1-4964-2562-5.BACKIf you want a comprehensive guide to overcoming “negativity, anxiety, anger, stress, and trauma,” Daniel G. Amen, MD, has taken his experience as a psychiatrist to develop this book to help you become more optimistic and happier. ‘Feel Better Fast And Make It Last‘ is a book that will change your life, if you read it and follow what it says.

There is so much stuff in this book that you’ll initially be overwhelmed by it – but don’t fret, once you get into the strategies, exercises, and steps that are described throughout, you’ll start getting a better understanding.

What I really liked about this book is that it has so much information – it’s not just one part of how you can feel better, it’s all of the things that you need to do in order to change your life for the better.

My favorite chapters, the ones that did the most for me, are “I Is For Inspiration” and “N Is For Nourishment.” As someone with a lot of hobbies, and someone that works in a creative career full-time, passions and inspiration play a huge role in my life (and now I am better understanding why I am so much more a positive person than a negative one, even when things seem to be going bad). The chapter on Inspiration also talks about addiction, something I’ve been able to overcome on my own (hoarding) and never had a major issue with in the more life-threatening sense (like drug addiction).

The Nutrition chapter attracts that side of me that took a ton of classes on nutrition in college. “The Feel Better Fast Diet” is filled with info on the foods that are best for your all-around health and wellness.

I enjoyed this book. I didn’t like the overabundance of brain photos (I felt like they weren’t really needed), but aside from that, it’s a book that will help you be healthier and happier.

 

I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Book Reviews

Brain Hacks by Lara Honos-Wedd, Ph.D.

Brain Hacks: Life-Changing Strategies To Improve Executive Function has a cover that claims this book will help you “Work smarter, stay focused, and achieve your goals.” It is 140+ pages of useful information that actually gave me tips that I will use forever. As someone that works with numerous clients, from home, taking on a variety of tasks (reviews, article writing, editing, etc.), and has their own creative passion projects, I find it hard to stay on task sometimes – this book has the tools that will help even the busiest worker or entrepreneur.

This book, rightfully, begins with a chapter that explains exactly what executive function is. The key, here, is to keep your business life afloat and tap into the part of you brain that focuses on work (that’s my super-simple layman’s terms description anyway). I like that this chapter is filled with questions that will help you determine your executive style, which will help you learn what strategies will best work for you when it comes to getting your work done.

The layout of this book makes it easy to read. You won’t get bored with super-long paragraphs, and you’ll find the exercises are useful and easy to follow.

Goal setting is one of my passions, but I’ve found myself so busy lately (and it’s not that steady, “regular” schedule busy), so my goal setting falls to the wayside. My work is sporadic, and I fit in my own projects every chance I get – which sometimes isn’t much. Brain Hacks has a lot of tips on goal setting – ones that I am pretty sure will assist me in making it easier to set my own goals even with a sporadic full-time schedule.

This book will make you look at the way you set goals, the way you focus (or your lack thereof), and how you organize (your stuff and your life). It’s a must for busy professionals, whether you work for someone else or for yourself.

 

I received this book free from the publisher, and this is an honest and unbiased review.

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson

518Ek4zaVJLI was attracted to Book Girl because I am a “book girl.” To be a writer for a living and an author, you kind of have to be. You can’t be an accomplished and talented writer without also being a reader. It’s like a rule or something.

I chose this book because it is a book about books – a book filled with reading lists. Now, the author is a student of Theology, so her book reading and interpretations revolve around her chosen religion. That aside, this is still an excellent book about books. You can read anything you want into the words you read on a page, whether you want to find connections between God or yourself.

I was surprised with how many great books are out there that I haven’t read yet. This tome is one that will guide me a bit on making sure I expand my reading repertoire some.

The author, Sarah Clarkson, breaks her lists into different categories – like the books that helped shape her and the books that inspired her. You know, if you’re a reader that is, that books are a guiding light in our lives. They help us become who we are and even avoid who we don’t want to be. They teach us things that are real while also helping us hone our imaginations.

I am open minded with all religions, so I found the Theology side of this both interesting and distracting. Because of this, I give the book 4-stars (out of 5). It was definitely worth the read, but aside from skimming through to write down a few books I’ve missed in all my years as a reader, I probably won’t pick it up again.

 

I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.